Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

In Google We Trust

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

Technology 246

firstadopter.com writes "The New York Times (registration needed) writes about how far Google has penetrated our culture (soul sucking "Free" registration required) in the last six years with the pros and cons of its success. It's amazing to think 200 million searches are done on the search engine each day on an index of 6 billion pages."

cancel ×

246 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

SLASHDOT HAS PENETRATED MY ANUS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561114)

Re:SLASHDOT HAS PENETRATED MY ANUS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561171)

Is there any way to remove all nytimes related articles from the front page? I am so fucking sick of these articles that I am never going to read.

omg lazy morning frist post lol bare pwnt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561117)

hhaa lol bare pwnt u all lolz

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561120)

FPFPFPFPFP

I stopped using google. (-1, Troll)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561121)

I haven't used google ever since my orkut experience where i read through the obscene terms and conditions. Only one way to get this changed and thats to VOTE and VOTE WITH YOUR FEET

Re:I stopped using google. (-1, Troll)

Epistax (544591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561138)

Don't worry. Soon they'll adopt the business model of the dot com bust and go bust themselves. I'm hoping for an alternative but for the time being, they are still the best option. If anyone has any suggestions for replacements, I'd gladly hear it! I've been using wikipedia for my encyclopedia lately (I used to use google).

Re:I stopped using google. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561290)

I've started using Teoma most of the time.
http://www.teoma.com/
It usually has what I'm looking for on the first page, not buried ten pages deep.

Re:I stopped using google. (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561148)

I just glanced at the google terms and conditions and can't for the life of me figure out what makes them obscene. It's a standard T&C, only shorter and clearer than most companies'.

Re:I stopped using google. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561153)

That must hurt them deeply. I bet they miss you.

Re:I stopped using google. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561382)

Orkut isn't really an official Google project... It's not like it's called Google Friends. Think of it as belonging to the Google Labs section of the company, something that could grow up into a Google product, but isn't one yet.

The multi million dollar question... (5, Interesting)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561123)

Is whether Google will be able to hold onto their cool after they have their IPO and have to answer to shareholders...

Not impossible... (4, Interesting)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561159)

After all, Apple has, hasn't it?

Re:Not impossible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561417)

Oh Yeah...

shareholders [thinksecret.com]

Re:The multi million dollar question... (4, Insightful)

saden1 (581102) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561195)

Once you go IPO things definitely change. Makes you wonder why such a profitable company wants to expose itself to the vultures at wall street? I mean really, they don't need to compete with MS and Yahoo because they already have a brand name that is more recognized and highly thought of. Googling is now synonymous with Internet searching.

Re:The multi million dollar question... (4, Insightful)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561296)

The real question is why Google and not Yahoo!? I always used yahoo, and yahoo actually advertises its service on TV, Google does not. So how/why did so many people end up using Google anyway?

From what I know, I learned of Google on slashdot. Its lack of advertisements and painfully plesant and simple homepage devoid of millions of options and ads was just wonderful. I recommended it to all my friends.

Unless someone else can come up with a better reason, I believe Google is so strong because of the endorsement of Nerds. Probably also why AMD/Intel/ATi/NVIDIA let slip highly overclockable products every now and then.

Don't forget history... (4, Insightful)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561468)

Once upon a time, Yahoo was cool and had the endorsement of nerds.

Re:The multi million dollar question... (3, Informative)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561399)

Just remember NOT to purchase google when it goes IPO.

Yahoo spiked big right after the IPO, and then it took years to return to that value.

Even Money last month noted that people should not buy stock in a new IPO as most of them rise rapidly, fall rapidly, and then level out after a few years.

I love Google and will love to own a piece of the company... I am just going to wait for the honeymoon period to be over first. :)

AC

Re:The multi million dollar question... (1)

misams (762127) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561404)

However, it would take even more millions to beat google and build a better engine :)

Don't forget history (v2)... (5, Insightful)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561489)

"However, it would take even more millions to beat google and build a better engine"

Once upon a time AltaVista was the "unbeatable" search engine of choice.

What more to say (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561124)

Frist ps0t !

That said, I think that the google success it only boils down to the kiss mentality ... nuff said

Only appropriate... (4, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561125)

It's a NYT story about google, but without the google no-reg link [nytimes.com] , heh.

Article Text (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561146)

In Searching We Trust
By DAVID HOCHMAN

Published: March 14, 2004

BEN SILVERMAN is what you might call a Google obsessive. A producer and a former talent agent best known for bringing "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" to American television, Mr. Silverman Googles people he is lunching with. He Googles for breaking news, restaurant reviews and obscure song lyrics. He Googles prospective reality-show contestants to make sure they don't have naked pictures floating around the Web. And, like every self-respecting Hollywood player, he Googles himself. Competitively.

"Guys all over town are on the phone saying, `I bet I can get more Google hits than you.' " he said recently. "It's become this ridiculous new power game."

It's more like the new kabbalah. With an estimated 200 million searches logged daily, Google, the most popular Internet search engine, "has a near-religious quality in the minds of many users," said Joseph Janes, an associate professor at the University of Washington in Seattle who taught a graduate seminar on Google this semester. "A few years ago, you would have talked to a trusted friend about arthritis or where to send your kids to college or where to go on vacation. Now we turn to Google."

The Web site that has become a verb is many things to many people, and to some, perhaps too much: a dictionary, a detective service, a matchmaker, a recipe generator, an ego massager, a spiffy new add-on for the brain. Behind the rainbow logo, Google is changing culture and consciousness. Or maybe not ? maybe it's the world's biggest time-waster, a vacuous rabbit hole where, in January, 60 million Americans, according to Nielsen/Net Ratings, foraged for long-lost prom dates and the theme from "Doogie Howser, M.D."

"In one sense, with Google, everything is knowable now," said Esther Dyson, who publishes Release 1.0, a technology-industry newsletter. "We were much more passive about information in the past. We would go to the library or the phone book, and if it wasn't there, we didn't worry about it. Now, people can't as easily drift from your life. We can't pretend to be ignorant." But the flood of unedited information, she said, demands that users sharpen critical thinking skills, to filter the results. "Google," she said, "forces us to ask, `What do we really want to know?' "

Google delivers information that can radically alter one's self-perception. About a quarter of "vanity" searchers ? those who search for their own names ? say they are surprised by how much information they find about themselves, according to a survey by the Pew Internet Project.

Sometimes, they're really surprised. When Orey Steinmann, 17, of Los Angeles, entered his unusual name on Google's query line, he discovered that he was listed on a Canadian Web site for missing children and told a teacher. After an investigation, county officials took him into protective custody last month and federal marshals arrested his mother, Gisele Marie Goudreault. She has been charged in Canada with parental abduction, said Barbara Masterson, an assistant United States attorney in Los Angeles. Canadian authorities are seeking Ms. Goudreault's extradition, and Orey is deciding whether to contact the father he never knew.

Then there are the Google miracle stories. The morning after five left-handed electric guitars owned by Robert McLaughlin were stolen from a storage room at his San Diego apartment complex last year, he searched Google's image library for guitar photos to use on a reward poster. Instead, he found the stolen goods. "The thief was selling them in a live auction," he said. "In the past, my report would have gotten lost in a mountain of paperwork. Because of Google, the cops recovered four of the five guitars that week."

While some compare Google's reservoir of six billion documents to the ancient library at Alexandria, it often feels like the shallowest ocean on earth. "Google can be useful as a starting point to research or for superficial inquests," said James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. "But far too often, it is a gateway to illiterate chatter, propaganda and blasts of unintelligible material."

Erm, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561166)

The APPROPRIATE thing would be not to RTFA at all ;)

Re:Only appropriate... (4, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561241)

Isn't it funny that the NY times weren't doing any positive stories about google (that I know of) until Google news partnered with NYTimes, and suddenly there's one every 2 weeks.

Hmm... Not tin-foil hat time, but suspicious.

Re:Only appropriate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561261)

Doesn't want to sound newbish, but how does one create such a google-partner link from a given nyt-link?

Links without registration (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561331)

Here's one way it is done... [tech-recipes.com]

Re:Only appropriate... (1)

rixstep (611236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561292)

I wonder how people can call the NYT a soul-sucking link and still ostensibly hang about at the NYT all day. Put these clowns out of business: wait until a good link appears before posting to /..

Google is truly a great search engine (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561126)

I've been using Google for 6 years, I feel it's easily the best search engine out there. I'm glad someone finally agrees with me!

I hope Google becomes the new verb in the dictionary soon ;)

WOW (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561129)

Wow, this is BIG news!

People use Google!

Calling the f'ing newspaper!

Its impessive. (5, Insightful)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561131)

5 years ago i would refuse too belive that the name of a search engine would turn into a common verb.
Google it.
Its better than RTFM ;)

Re:Its impessive. (5, Funny)

lxt (724570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561214)

Somehow I don't think "Just Dogpile it" would have the same effect :)

Re:Its impessive. (4, Interesting)

costas (38724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561234)

That means less than you may think...after all Hoover doesn't have a monopoly on vacuum cleaners nor Kleenex has the market cornered on tissues. Google just happened to be the first effective, widely popular search engine just as the Web was becoming effectively mainstream: the switching costs are still essentially zero (just point your browser to a different URL), so any company that can deliver searches better *enough* than Google, can become the new Google. That's even more impressive IMHO...

Re:Its impessive. (4, Insightful)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561305)

I see what you're saying but I do think that the name has played an important part in Google's success (not the most important part, however). When you think of Google you can imagine that simple logo of blue, red, yellow and green letters that greet you when you arrive. 'Google' rolls off the tongue a lot easier than pretty much every other search engine, hence the reason it's become a popular verb.

"Just Yahoo it" - is hard to say quickly and coherently, and it doesn't flow that much

"Just Alta-Vista it" - this is obvious, too many syllables, and you can't really shorten it to either Alta or Vista

"Just Lycos it" - the S at the end flows straight into the 'it' and can therefore become confusing unless you have an annoying gap to separate the two words.

Hoover and Kleenex are unique, instantly identifiable names that aren't a pain to say. I wonder if these companies would have even touched the level of respective marketshare they've had if their product names were 'bad'.

Re:Its impessive. (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561268)

Why not? You dont use the name of a common compression program as a verb (well, not sure in english, but around here in spanish yes)? Or the name of a brand as the name of something (think at least in aspirin).

Using it as a verb is like saying "use this particular search engine" because has become the default/best choice without thinking (with aspirins happened the same at least some time ago), and I would be surprised that that don't happens with more things.

Re:Its impessive. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561320)

Wasn't "Yahoo it" a verb five to seven years ago before Google became the search engine of choice?

Re:Its impessive. (1)

You're All Wrong (573825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561423)

I was hotbotting things in 1996, certainly.

Oooer miss!

YAW.

Re:Its impessive. BUT... (1)

toesate (652111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561355)

Remember 7-8 years ago?? Many were saying Yahoo! it.

until Yahoo IPO came along, until dmoz.org came along, and then Google came along...

Re:Its impessive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561443)

Yeah but if you say it in full its better.

READ THE FUCKEN MANUAL (you fucken stupid muther fucker). bracket section optional.

...

OT: And what the hell is wrong with Slashdot not always rendering properly with Firefox??

Alternative search engines (5, Interesting)

amacleod98 (757451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561133)

It is interesting, whenever I want any information I go straight to google and rarely consider other sources. How many people do this? Do you ever find better results with other search engines?

Re:Alternative search engines (1, Interesting)

margal (696859) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561152)

I do, and I _never_ use other engines. The only situation where I don't use google first is with software. Freshmeat gets me first there.

Re:Alternative search engines (1)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561163)

same with me.
if google cant find it its probably not there :p

Re:Alternative search engines (5, Informative)

pphrdza (635063) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561192)

Try Teoma [teoma.com] , AlltheWeb [alltheweb.com] , Wisenut [wisenut.com] , Profusion [profusion.com] and Vivisimo [vivisimo.com] (both metasearch clustering engines)

Fun new one to try: Mooter [mooter.com]

Re:Alternative search engines (5, Interesting)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561354)

NB: From the UK

Some things are fantastic on google/google groups. Searching for technical answers, and often general searching.

Some things work less well for me, often because of the linkfarm pond scum. Searching for say a type of shop in a particular town often isn't as good as Yell [yell.co.uk] . For fact finding, I often use Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . For movie info, I go straight to the IMDB [slashdot.org] .

For a search engine, though, I've yet to find anything better.

Google link (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561136)

No-reg link [nytimes.com] (free of karma whoring)

Link to Google, free of karma-whoring (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561186)

www.google.com [google.com]

Mike Myers commentary on Goldmember (5, Informative)

intertwingled (574374) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561145)

Yep, while listening to Michael Myers commentary track of the Goldmember DVD, I heard him call Michael Caine a "veritable Google of the entertainment business." Thus, we are stuck with the word google as synonymous with search or knowledge base, whether Google likes it or not.

Re:Mike Myers commentary on Goldmember (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561188)



google is a modification of the word googol [reference.com]

but pronounced virtually identically, so really its the other way round and it was already in use (since at least 1938) before google discovered its branding potential

Google-centric web design (5, Insightful)

TrentL (761772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561150)

Well, Google has certainly affected web design. It's not uncommon for designers to arrange their site architecture in order to optimize their page rank.

The good thing is that it's encouraged symantically correct HTML (ie. using [h1] and [em] tags, instead of [font size="30"] or [b]). The downside is that some people still don't understand what it takes to rise in the rankings: quality content and getting linked to. The more shady web designers set up link farms and share links like a heroin addict shares needles.

Re:Google-centric web design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561184)

use of <b> is perfectly correct.

what does it have to do with your pagerank score?

Re:Google-centric web design (5, Informative)

TrentL (761772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561233)

I don't think [b] has anything to do with the page-rank score, I was just using it as an example.

"Symantically correct" html means the tags have meaning. [b] (bold) doesn't *mean* anything. Neither does [i] (italic) or [font]. The preferred tags to use are [strong], [em] (emphasis), and [h1-6]. This idea is that HTML should describe content, and stylesheets should determine how the content looks.

If you surround something with [b] tags, you're coupling the content and the presentation. It's better practice to surround content with [strong] tags and then define how [strong] looks via a stylesheet.

Re:Google-centric web design (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561197)

The downside is that some people still don't understand what it takes to rise in the rankings: quality content and getting linked to. The more shady web designers set up link farms and share links like a heroin addict shares needles.

Link farms, and other cheating schemes, are what result when people want to buy themselves a higher PageRank. They don't have quality content or want to wait for links to form.

Google got this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561154)

***Here are some of the imdb.com reviews for "Gay Niggers From Outer Space":

Summary: The best homosexual racial minority sci-fi film ever.

"Morten Lindbergs classic cult short, Gay Niggers From Outer Space is one of
the first short films to really stick to what the title suggests. From the
time the first gay nigger walked onto the screen up until the final intense
climax with the Tourette's Syndrome Kingdom in Outer Space, it's filled with
dark comedy, action and plenty of suspense. "

"Gay Niggers from Outer Space is a masterpiece of a film. No other film
portraits emotions as majestically and stunningly since The Legend of Nigger
Charley and Home Alone II. With a cast of all-star African niggers and a
director with Kubrick potential, it is no wonder that Gay Niggers from Outer
Space is marked the greatest film of all time."

"From the very first scene where Gay Nigger Harris throws up on his own face
and commits suicide, to the climactic scene where Nigger Ralph Nader and
Nigger Humphrey Bogart fight over the last hashbrown and pick cotton til
their noses bleed, Gay Niggers from Outer Space is the most magical
portrayal of gay niggers open to the public."

***However, no mention is made of the hazadous lifestyle of gay niggers,
so the following is an attempt to explain those hazards in layman's terms:

Despite cries to the contrary in the media, AIDS is still primarily a gay
and black disease. The media loves to report the "growing epidemic" among
whites, when in fact the rate of infection among heterosexual whites is
dropping off significantly year by year. The media though, reports only the
TOTAL current infection rate, not the RELATIVE. So while there are more
cases each year, the RATE of infection is dropping quickly. Except for the
gay/nigger communities, where it's skyrocketing.

Why does AIDS seem to target gays and niggers so much more so than whites
and straights? Anal sex. The anus was not designed to accommodate vigorous
penetration as occurs in anal sex. Unlike the vagina, the anus has very
delicate membranes, which damage easily. Couple that with the fact that
sperm contains immune system suppressing chemicals. That's why the sperm is
not treated as a foreign protein in the vagina...because of the immune
suppressing effects of the sperm cells. Without this effect, pregnancy
could not occur, as the sperm would be attacked as a foreign protein.

In the anus, sperm has the same immune suppressing effect. During anal sex,
the anal wall is torn and open lesions form. Because there is little if any
sensory nerve endings in the anus, this damage often goes unnoticed. The
sperm then induce their immune suppressing effect, and the stage is set.
Various bacteria both beneficial and infectious dwell in the colon, as well
as viral matter. When the anus is ripped open, exposing the blood to the
immune suppressing chemicals in the sperm, and the viral matter passed
along with it, infection is virtually assured.

***So does the skyrocketing rate of AIDS infection mean that there are
skyrocketing rates of gay niggers???

***Not exactly, because most White people don't realize that a large
percentage of nigger males are bisexual. It's a great irony considering all
of their macho posturing and affectations. They tend to admire the male
physique, and when no women are present, they will hip-hop dance with each
other. Any port in a storm will do, because da' brotha's just gots ta
have it!!! Then they pass along the virus to their wives, girlfriends, and
family members.

***Here is a story about this phenomenon from "The Village Voice":

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0123/wright.p hp

And for the Toronto Gay Niggers:

http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2001-08-16/news _s tory_p.html

It's safe to say (5, Insightful)

barenaked (711701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561155)

It's safe to say when a search engine takes place as a verb in the 'tech cultures' vocabulary that it has created an empire "Would you google this for me...". In my opinion it was one of the great replacements for lycos and yahoo when it came out. Quicker more feature rich and over all better and easier to use, and that is why it has been able to grab such a market hold and popularity

Google is not the only Search. (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561162)

The actual headline on the NY Times article is "In Searching We Trust", but Slashdot calling it "In Google We Trust" isn't that far off the mark since no other search engine is even mentioned in the piece.

Google isn't the only search engine out there, just the dominant one at the moment. Somebody who is using only Google, and is not aware that their are other tools with which to get a second opinion is missing out on a pretty big portion of the web that Google either hasn't discovered or just doesn't think highly of in PageRank.

The alternative... (4, Interesting)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561238)

I think the "next big thing" will be information only search engines. Filtering through the plethora of advertising and crud is getting more tiresome as the punters learn how to optimise their rankings. Something like Google [google.com] but with a Bayesian spam filter [slashdot.org] attached to the front end to filter the results for me...

Re:The alternative... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561353)

Credible-source only searches do exist. The only problem is that without putting ads next to the results, the only way to make money is to charge the users.

Lexis-Nexis is solid, it's just too expensive for the average user.

Re:The alternative... (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561475)

I'm happy with ads next to the results, as long as it filters the results themselves. AFAIK, Google doesn't get paid for regular search hits, just the "marked as sponsored" stuff, so that arrangement is fine with me. To be fair, I'd probably pay a trivial sum for access to a better-than-Google-and-no-ads search engine, as I do for Safari Bookshelf and some of my J2EE tools and docs, along with car reference manuals even. OT, but I'd say the age of mainstream payed-subscription content is well and truely upon us.

Sources like Lexis-Nexis appear to be aimed at businesses anyway, and most punters won't have even heard of them, let alone pay the large sums asked for them.

Google's new layout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561164)

Google's redesigned layout kicks ass. Look to the lucky cookie!

Devotion to google (2, Interesting)

betelgeuse-4 (745816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561172)

I'm not religiously devoted to Google, I use it because I reckon it's the best search engine available. If something better comes along, I'd switch straight away.

Re:Devotion to google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561291)

Judas!

Google will never die. It will live on, within the true believers awaiting the time when all your searches belong to us.

Zealots Arise!

search on "apple"--duhhr (3, Insightful)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561174)

Yeah, if you search on "apple" it's going to talk about the computer company. Search on "apples", you know, like human people talk, and the first hit is an excellent, informative site on the tasty fruit. Search on "fruit apple" (well, without the quotes) and you get relevant results as well. (On the other hand, "fruit apple" is a better search than "apple fruit", so there is some seeming arbitraryness to it...until you learn that Google gets some hints from word order on queries and pages.)

But yeah, successfully using Google requires both some search term assemblage skill and some online cultural literacy. Old farts at the NYTimes might not be blessed with too much of either, but I bet their kids are.

It's not perfect, but that college president / symphony director's comment "It's like looking for a lost ring in a vacuum bag. What you end up with mostly are bagel crumbs and dirt." sounds like it's coming from someone who doesn't really know how to use a search engine.

Re:search on "apple"--duhhr (1, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561219)

More or less, that's Google adapting to the way the language is used.

The single form of the generic word "apple" is rarely used in conversation, when you're talking about just one piece of fruit it isn't a very newsworthy event. If you're discussing the fruit, you're usually talking about more than one apple.

So, "apples" is more likely to mean the fruit, while the single word "apple" more likely to be headed for the computer company...

Media Sensationalism (4, Interesting)

myownkidney (761203) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561175)

It's more like the new kabbalah. With an estimated 200 million searches logged daily, Google, the most popular Internet search engine, "has a near-religious quality in the minds of many users,"

This is so untrue. Almost any computer savvy individual knows that google results are not very reliable. Google is just an online popularity contest. And it doesn't go very deep into the website structure. If you believe in google as your messiah, then you do really need to get your head checked.

As for the story about Left Handed Guitars, all I can say is it took google more than one month to include my site in their searches. So unless the guy did the search after one month, he would probably not have found them.

Google is not at all what it is hyped upto be. It has its uses, but it ain't the oracle my friend.

Re:Media Sensationalism (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561421)

Google isn't perfect, but it's the best search engine we've got right now. Aside from paying your way in, what other search solution discovers new pages any faster?

Re:Media Sensationalism (1)

You're All Wrong (573825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561446)

Wake up.

Can you not imagine the situation where a google search for images of guitars pulled up an /auction site/ with a /guitar/ section, which would regularly carry /images of the guitars being sold/? Said auction site could have been serving /images of guitars/ for many months, and google was intelligent enough to recognise that fact.

Simple, eh?

YAW.

Google is a religion. (4, Insightful)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561179)

Google, the most popular Internet search engine, "has a near-religious quality in the minds of many users,"

And that is exactly why Microsoft will have a hell of a time toppling it with any MSN Search. Lord, Google is a verb now. The kind of entrenchment that Google has in our culture is extraordinarily difficult to overcome.

Re:Google is a religion. (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561245)

Microsoft is a verb as well, although it generally only has negative connotations.

Re:Google is a religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561285)

Let's face it, Google is doing ok because of 2 things they did right from the beginning:

1. you get more or less what you ask for and not a bunch of sponsered links dependent on who has payed the search service the most this month.

2. Even when you're on slow dial-up line yuo'll get the page and the results instead of a screen that is 'only' for 90% filled with advertising.

All the rest, whether they have changed the way we live or not, wheter they are a religion, are irrelevant.

Re:Google is a religion. (1)

badriram (699489) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561406)

MSN search would have to come up in popularity. But if you think Google is popular, Microsoft would be the star of all software companies people know of.

Whether or not it is best tends not to matter as much as brand name to most people.

Firefox (3, Interesting)

Haydn Fenton (752330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561190)

To be honest, before I used firefox [mozilla.org] , or phoenix as it was called back then, I very rarely used google. However, since firefox has a built in 'google function' as I call it (this works by typing google [searchtopic] in the address bar and hitting enter) I must use it around 10 to 20 times a day.
Looking back on things, I don't know how I ever got anything done without firefox or google...

Re:Firefox (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561209)

You can shorten the keyword to a simple g. Just open the Google Search bookmark's properties.

Re:Firefox (1)

Gilesx (525831) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561213)

It'll be interesting when the search engine companies cotton on to this fact - being paid to give a specific engine prominent tool bar placement could be a nice little revenue stream for Mozilla.

What about the deep web? (5, Interesting)

Gilesx (525831) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561193)

In my experience Google seems great for searching for popular items, but due to their ranking system if I want to perform an obscure search, my chances of finding anything are slim to none.

Apparently, the "deep web" is the best place to make obscure searches, and I've used turbo10.com to perform searches in this way. It's really interesting to compare the results of two searches between google and turbo10 - google certainly appears to be the quick and easy search engine that grandma can use, but for serious work, I am increasingly finding myself turning to the deep web.

Re:What about the deep web? (1)

c_oflynn (649487) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561314)

Hmm, though turbo10 DOES have buy-your-way-to-the-top style ads [turbo10.com] , which can be a pain.

Re:What about the deep web? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561318)

sounds kinky?

Mirror (if we slashdot google) (5, Funny)

itsme1234 (199680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561199)

Here is the cached page if we ./ google:

http://66.102.11.104/search?q=cache:zhool8dxBV4J :w ww.google.com/+google&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Wait ...

Re:Mirror (if we slashdot google) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561317)

Yup! Nothing like a good old dotslashing.

Google web services (SOAP) API is very cool (5, Informative)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561204)

For developers, the Google SOAP API is great. I used it a year and a half ago for a demo system that answered "who" and "where" questions posed in natural language. You need to ask for a license key that allows 1000 SOAP based calls a day. In addition to searching, you can also use the Google spelling corrector with this API.

Amazon also provides a SOAP (and REST) API.

-Mark

Re:Google web services (SOAP) API is very cool (1)

sh0rtie (455432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561408)


dont talk about SOAP around here unless it comes with the BEHIND EARS and DEODORANT patches, getting past the WATER compiler is hard enough for this lot ,wait till they see the BATH and SHOWER mod's

We may need more complete site directories (5, Interesting)

r6144 (544027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561207)

Indeed, searching (whether on the Web or on IEEE journals and similar academic things) is useful when you just want to have a basic idea about something popular, but it is easy to miss things this way, probably because others use a different wording, a different spelling, or simply because the actual authors are not the ones naming their ideas (you will probably not get Newton's original super-groundbreaking article on Newton's laws, except through trees of citations, just by searching for "Newton's laws" on any search engine :) When doing academic research, if we want completeness (for example to look for some new ideas) we ca n at least browse the contents of all recent issues of journals of interest, but there is no such thing on the web. Google Directory is an opportunity to get the things more complete for those who really need the completeness, but it is currently woefully incomplete.

Currently many interesting sites, such as wikipedia, everything2, groklaw, are spread by words-of-mouth (mostly on slashdot :) Surely many people has taken the pain to collect a set of links that is hopefully quite complete by the time of writing (which is much harder than simple googling), but such pages usually show up only in obscure places at google. Maybe the community can invent some way to make an easy-to-use distributed link-list service where everyone can easily share the results of their searching efforts.

It's amazing (5, Interesting)

AbstracTus (576474) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561210)

The other day I had to look up a missed call from my cellphone. Now, there is a pretty good online phonebook for my country (Iceland), but the number was not found. So I googled it (yes, it has become a verb), and google found it. Turns out it was a direct line to an employee of a company (who's main number was registered in the phonebook). I use google every single day, life just wouldn't be the same without it.

All Hype (2, Funny)

johnhennessy (94737) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561231)

I preface this by saying Google is probably the only search engine I use at the moment but ...

This stinks of hype. With an IPO due later this year, a established news source writing at lengths about the wonders of Google sounds a bit fishy. I began to wonder reading the article - who exactly really wrote this...

Hopefully its just the paranoid part of me.

Some one, please, prove me wrong.

Re:All Hype (0, Redundant)

philask (216894) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561250)

Hype maybe but Google is one of the few Internet companies who truly deserve to do well out of an IPO.

Re:All Hype (1)

pineapples10 (685792) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561360)

I suppose the cover article in Wired a couple months ago was also hype? Inherently, any article praising anything can be considered hype. While there have been many articlesing lauding Google as the second cmoing of sliced bread, many articles have been written that criticize their AdSense system. I assume that because Google is such a widely used and accepted service, it would be difficult for any large news source to out-and-out criticize them.

If you're too lazy to reg... (3, Informative)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561254)

...If you're lazy and afraid of possible spamming (probably not from NYT, but you never know), then try the slashdot account!

Username: slashdot2003
password: slashdot2003

Re:If you're too lazy to reg... (0, Offtopic)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561311)

How is this a troll? I'm trying to help people! It's what I use myself!

consult with/trust in yOUR creators... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561271)

get ready to see the light. the search is over.

lookout bullow. the daze of the felonious greed/fear/ego based corepirate nazi payper liesense stock markup fraud softwar (information) gangster execrable, is WANing into coolapps/the abyss, at the speed of right (which can tend to be a little slow at times).

'trust' should be metered out carefully, based on the motives/behaviours of the trust-seeker.

mynuts won, in va lairIE/robbIE we trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561315)

yikes almighty. eye gas we know what $tuff that matter$ is really all about?

Same post (2, Interesting)

Epistax (544591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561294)

I'm using wikipedia now for my encyclopedia over google (which I used to use). I've also been looking for alternative searching systems but google still seems to be the best. I wouldn't put much stock in them staying on top after profit driven investors get to them. Froogle has been an interesting foray, I must say.

Core weakness of PageRank (4, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561302)

The basic concept of PageRank is flawed because it assumes a monotonic ordering of sites on some single scale (e.g., popularity as defiend by linkage). The problem with PageRank is not the use of links to assess popularity, but the presumption of a single scale.

The search of "Apple" illustrates this well. This search, like s many is deeply ambiguous. It could refer to the computer company, to the fruit, to the record company, to New York City, or to Apple Valley (MN or CA). Even if you know it refers to the company, its still ambiguous. It could refer to the company (as an investment), the products (for purchase), or a question(as in technical support).

The point is that each of these ambiguous alternatives creates an independent cluster of hits. Although one can create a ranking within each cluster, it is impossible to construct a meanful rank for all hits across all clusters - the second hit for "Apple computer" is not comparable to the 2nd hit for "Apple Records".

Instead of a pagerank scheme that sorts the universe of hits the instant the user enters the search, search engines should be more interactive. The first page of hits would emphasize breadth -- displaying hits most representative of their respective alternative clusters. As the searcher selects hits, the subsequent pages might show popularity-ranked hits within the clusters that seem to interest the searcher.

Each hit and each page would serve a double-duty -- serving the searcher's need to get information from the internet, and answering the search engine's question about the needs of the searcher. Until the search engine understands each searcher and each search, it cannot hope to rank the hits.

6 Billion Pages? (2, Interesting)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561329)

I thought it was 4,285,199,774 pages

Re:6 Billion Pages? (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561391)

I thought it was 4,285,199,774 pages

Google recently put out a bragging release claiming they now search 6 billion items, but in order to reach that number you have to use web search, image search, and a newsgroup search and add the numbers up.

Privacy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8561373)

Google has a record of every search your IP address has ever done... As soon as Google merges with an ISP or other entity that can coneect you with that IP address, your Google searching history will be laid bare.

Google, the friendly giant... (5, Interesting)

Bl33d4merican (723119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561380)

I think Google really is an example of a large company that everyone can like. Other posts have already alluded to the attitude many have taken--not even thinking of other search engines when looking for information. With an index of over 6 Billion Pages it's almost impossible for anyone else to compete. But these facts are just the tip of the economic and creative iceberg. Through a proactive strategy, Google has become a symposium of services. Google News, Froogle, and partnerships with Dictionary.com and Blogger.com. When google created a tool bar (http://toolbar.google.com/), Yahoo and Microsoft followed. (Google's toolbar, FYI, has been the most successful--much to Microsoft's chagrin.) It's actually rather amazing that such an aggressive and successful company has remained free of so much of the controversy typical of similar corporations. Google really is a friendly giant.

So who are all these Dave Gorman trolls mentioned? (2, Funny)

janbjurstrom (652025) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561388)

From the article:

In Britain, a former mathematics student named Dave Gorman has created a popular play, a book and a television series based on his "Googlewhack" adventure, in which he chased down 54 other Dave Gormans,
all while trolling you know where. [emphasis mine]

My interpretation of the sentence was: hmm, strange that so many Slashdot trolls share the name "Dave Gorman".

"Google Ate My Brain" (3, Interesting)

FePe (720693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561392)

"The terrifying and wonderful observation about Google is that people these days are using it as an information resource of first resort," said Brewster Kahle, chairman of the Internet Archive, which is preserving hundreds of millions of Web pages for their historical value. "Unfortunately, many of them also believe if something's not on Google, it doesn't exist."

I remember reading somewhere on the Net (of course) a piece called something like "Google Ate My Brain" refering to the fact that you have to google to know something, and you can't rely on your existing knowledge. While it's great to be able to use Google for nearly everything you would like to know about, it has its sad counterpoints. One of the counterpoints could be the fact that you are more unsure if what you know about a thing really is right, and you have to google for the truly definitive answer. And another counterpoint could be the absence of deep knowledge on websites.

registration needed? No! (3, Informative)

Marco Krohn (254334) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561393)

Registration is not needed! Thanks to google :-)

Just google for the following URL:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/14/fashion/14 GOOG.h tml

(without the space in "h tml")

Google will tell you that it found no results, but that you can visit the link by clicking onto it. Do that and that's all.

This article has too much fluff (4, Informative)

Everyman (197621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561414)

I was disappointed in the piece. Because I'm the founder of Google Watch [google-watch.org] , the reporter on the piece, David Hochman, called me twice in the last three weeks to talk about Google, for a total of about an hour. I have a feeling that the reason the piece came out the way it did is because he was constrained by his editors. The NYT has a custom-filtered AdWords feed from Google, and it's one of the reasons why the Digital NYT is in the black. Their record of publishing trenchant pieces about Google has been rather lame now for several years. Money talks, both at the NYT and at Google.

Not soooo amazing... (3, Funny)

Rooktoven (263454) | more than 10 years ago | (#8561445)

"...It's amazing to think 200 million searches are done on the search engine each day on an index of 6 billion pages."

Less impressive when you realize that 150 million of those searches are for Britney and Janet...

(I kid, google is the most esssential tool for my job...)
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>